Evaluating a Personal Injury Claim
I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today’s question comes from a
Caller who asks “what factors are important for attorneys to consider in evaluating a personal injury claim?”
Every injury case is different. All we can do in answering the caller’s question is to provide some general guidelines.
However, rarely will an attorney concentrating in personal injury law be able to give you anything more than general advice as to the type of compensation you would get for your injuries.
This is because until the full extent of your injuries is known, no attorney can predict what you would be entitled to with any clear accuracy.
There are many factors that are considered in a legal analysis of a case, such as time lost from work, days spent in the hospital under a doctor’s care, the necessity or recommendation of a certain surgical procedure, and whether injuries are temporary or permanent.
Be cautious about any attorney who claims that they can assign a dollar value to your claim when you walk in the door.
The type of information that you need to gather to help any attorney and yourself try to evaluate what your claim might be worth would include medical expenses, all of the other intangible expenses you have incurred to date due to the injury, plus estimated future expenses and future treatment needs.
You also would need information about your lost income, permanent physical disability, disfigurement, loss of family, social, and educational experiences, and expenses associated with job retraining.
Suppose for example you were a truck driver and you were able to climb up on the truck and do very heavy work of strapping down of loads, but now you are going to have to be retrained to do some more sedentary work. That change in your work capability is something that would be compensable.
Emotional damages, such as the emotional stress of being involved in an accident and having to fight to recover from the stress of the accident are recoverable.
Embarrassment that you might suffer, having to have others take care of you, bathe you, and do different personal tasks for you.
A lot of times people suffer from depression following an accident. Emotional pain and suffering, both temporary and permanent, is compensable.
Pain itself is a complex factor to consider. Suppose you have a high level of pain while a broken arm is healing over six weeks, but then you have a lesser degree of pain while you are going through therapy for another two months, and then you have some residual level of pain for the rest of your life. All of those kinds of elements and factors need to be considered in trying to evaluate what your claim may be worth. If you don’t have the type of information I just listed, you will need to get that, as that kind of information is necessary to help determine and evaluate your claim.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.